I wanted to share what has been consuming me now since the start of the year, at first I felt so embarrassed of myself and the position that I’ve found myself in. 2020 has been life changing in every single way. I’ve had to adjust every part of my life, from income to travel, solo parenting the majority of the time and trying to make healthy steps towards a happy co-parenting relationship. I feel like I’ve been closed off to a lot of people and friends that have reached out to me but the process hasn’t been simple. But it’s been two months and I’m making a return to blogging so it would be wrong for me not to share such a massive change in both mine and my daughter’s lives. I am now a single parent.
Now here’s a quick disclaimer before you read any more – if you think this is going to involve me slagging off the father of my child then you are mistaken. Regardless of the failings in our relationship, I will always have the highest level of respect for him as Evangeline’s parent and a part of me will always love him as without him (and me) we would not have our daughter. I am her Mum and he is her Dad, that will never change and we will always be a family. We both know that a few months down the line that things will be much easier, it’s starting to feel less alien to us now. We are working extremely hard at the moment to make changes to what was an 8 year relationship to now a co-parenting relationship and some days are a whole lot better than others. So much so that I even sat down with him and discussed this post being published, it’s not that I needed permission but I wanted to make it clear what my intentions were for sharing it and also to give him a heads up. The priority in all of this is Evangeline and we both want what’s the best for her, even if it means that her parents are no longer together.
We had so many positives that outweighed the negatives but we had seen a massive downward spiral in our behaviour towards each other and our general happiness over the course of a few months and I knew that I couldn’t carry on with the same routine for the rest of my life if things were not going to change. It broke my heart knowing that things weren’t going to change and having to find the strength and confidence to walk away from everything I had known for the longest time was extremely difficult. But I would rather break my own heart than ever break hers.
In the first few weeks I felt so ashamed of myself and the situation. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, I also don’t want to be put in a “box” and have people make judgements about me for being a single parent. Like I’ve said, she came from a very long term relationship with my first love, we’ve known each other since we were 12 – that’s half of our lives! We went through so much together, grew up together, went to prom together, finished degrees together, lived together, made a home together and made a family together. I will never regret any of that but you know that people who have no idea of our background will make their assumptions. I remember days where I would be solo parenting, some days would feel overwhelming but I had that comfort knowing that he was going to walk through the door after work and take over, even for just 10 minutes. But now I don’t have that and I have a toddler that walks, climbs and cannot be left on her own. Gone were the days where I could go to the toilet alone, the only time I have to do anything is when she’s sleeping but once she’s in bed the silence literally fills the house.
From the outside looking in, I looked like the person who had it all figured out – I had the house and the family, I was settled. Possibly expecting an engagement ring at some point? I would have happily been settled for the rest of my life to keep my family together. But would I have been happy? I was trying desperately to keep us together as a family for as long as possible and would have done anything to hold it all together because I didn’t want her having the childhood I had. But having the time to take a step back from everything really has made me realise just how much energy and emotion it was draining out of me. Now I’m single the thought of someone ever wanting me again doesn’t even cross my mind. It’s like I’m playing Monopoly and I’ve been sent back to Go without collecting £200. When I think of my future now I have no idea what it holds or any happiness that may come my way but when I compare this to my last proper break up at the age of 18 the feelings are worlds apart. However heart breaking this situation is, I know that I’m going to be okay and that gives me so much comfort on the most difficult days. I have a reason to get up and out of bed every single morning; if I’m not doing it for myself then at least I can do it for her.
In terms of Evangeline and how she is coping, she has been an absolute treasure throughout this process. If I’m honest she hasn’t noticed that anything is going on which is exactly what we wanted. Her Dad sees her at the weekend and pops round after work some days in the week, I give them their time together alone but sometimes we all sit together and play with her, we bath her together and if he’s here he puts her to bed. We take her into nursery and pick her up together and we’re even building up to taking her out on days as a family in the future. We don’t really have a set routine/days but currently that works fine for us, I’ve made it very clear that if we’re not busy he is always welcome whenever he wants to see her. I want her to be able to see us both as much as possible and although some days can feel suffocating where I’m the only person that sees her from the moment she wakes in the morning until she goes to bed at night, that time together is so precious.
2020 is going to be a selfish year, a year of me re-discovering myself and experiencing parts of life that I never have done before. I’ve
So proud of you Alice & I can’t imagine how hard solo parenting can be. You’re doing a fab job & I am always here for you!